homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.145.183.169
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 85 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 85 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
Google's Matt Cutts: Comments Stuffed With Keywords May Be Seen As A Manipulative Link Scheme
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:02 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google's Matt Cutts produced a video which is worth watching and listening to. Do you use use commenting to market your site?

In the video, Matt indicates that keyword rich commenting may be seen as manipulative, and Google reserves the right to take action. There, you've been warned.

Here's the video.


 

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:00 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

You should use your real name if you want your comments taken seriously; if you call yourself V1agra McLoanOffer, you lose credibility even if your comment is relevant and well thought out. There's no rational human reason to use keywords as your anchor text in a blog comment. It's not a traffic bringer on its own (at least, not quality traffic); it can only be for purposes of manipulating the search engines. You can try to convince me otherwise, but you won't. It's *common sense*.

If for some reason you *don't* want to use your own name, then you can still use Guest or Anonymous, and it won't rebound on your site. But if you don't want to sign your own name to a comment, why would you want to link to your site? Again - manipulation.

Note - Google is not telling you what you can or cannot do, they are saying that if you do these things, there are consequences in their search engine. Every action has a consequence. Up to you if it's worth it or not.

is thinking about changing her name to V1agra McLoanOffer for WebmasterWorld purposes

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:31 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

You should use your real name if you want your comments taken seriously;

So all of our posts here completely lack credibility since we don't use our real name? Wow! I had no clue.

But if you don't want to sign your own name to a comment, why would you want to link to your site?

It's called traffic -- You know, that stuff people used to be able to get through links on other sites before Google frowned on link exchanges and things along those lines?

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:50 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Blogs and forums aren't the same; WebmasterWorld doesn't allow links, as I said - keyword-in-anchor-text blog comment names don't provide real traffic. Next?

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:53 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

LOL -- My site name got some real traffic when I commented on topical blogs with it, which is why I did it -- I actually made money from some of it -- Obviously your assumptions aren't valid for every blog in every niche or are you saying you know more about my site(s) than I do?

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:59 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Algo update on the way?
You do realize this might be a warning to get prepared for the next iteration of the algorithm?

The folks at Remove'em might be getting more business in the coming weeks. Ha! :)

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:01 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many of the people who are hyperventilating here have actually watched the two-minute video?

The phrase "tempest in a teacup" comes to mind.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:05 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

The folks at Remove'em might be getting more business in the coming weeks. Ha! :)

LOL - I'd guess their business is already up solely on the FUD Factor.

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:15 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can see where you might want to build brand recognition for your website name thus use "Red Apple Superstore" however other than that, the use of keyword rich anchor text in blog comments is purely for search engine manipulation. However if you have your personal name as part of your domain name or website name, then you run into the problem of having too many links with partial match anchor text. Google really opened a can of worms when they started handing out link "penalties".

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:21 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe it is time for some of our less than white hat friends to nuke some rum and give MC a taste of penguin. :)

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:25 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can see where you might want to build brand recognition for your website name...

Uh, yup, could just be the site name, even if it's not an EMD that's keyword rich -- The more people see it, the more likely they are to remember/visit it -- It's very similar to free advertising, and does not [should not anyway] have anything to do with search rankings when you make sure the comments are nofollowed, because you're not trying to manipulate your search rankings, but are rather simply "putting the site name in front of people" so they know what it is and that it even exists.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:05 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

<Mods hat off>

The way I see it is - the message given by Google is that there are circumstances when nofollow links can hurt you.

Because if we are talking about "dofollow" blog comments - then this video has nothing new - it goes under the hat of "promotional links that may manipulate our rankings must be nofollow" which was communicated by Google ages ago.

As we know - most blog comments are nofollow. And in the second video I linked to above - Google says - if there are many of them AND you are using keywords instead of your name - then even though these links are nofollow - Google reserves the right to penalise the site being linked to.

It is completely irrelevant whether nofollow comments in blogs that use keywords instead of commenter's name drive traffic or not, whether the readers would find these comments authoritative or not. It is prerogative of the website running the promotion to decide HOW they are running their promotional campaign - in the past - as long as such promotional links were nofollowed, hence not manipulating the ranking, you were in clear.

And what we are hearing is that this is not the case any more.

In fact, what we are hearing is that Google can now penalise you for the way you are running your promotional campaign even when the campaign does not (*should not*) influence Google search results.

Whether you get any positive results of such promo campaign (that is, whether the campaign is trustworthy and drives the traffic to your site if run via blog comments using keywords instead of commenter's name) should be irrelevant - this is business owner's decision and should not be Google's.

..it does make me wonder whether nofollow links in fact do carry some weight..
</Mods hat off>

[edited by: aakk9999 at 8:13 pm (utc) on Nov 15, 2013]

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:13 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think some of you are way overthinking it.


I agree, I think ;)

"Common sense is not so common." Voltaire (this is not my real name so please rel="nofollow noregard nopunishthedeadwriterslashphilosopherwebsiteigotthisfromplease")

Comment sponsored by [fill in your favorite corporation here]

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:19 pm on Nov 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

aakk9999 This is what concerns me. MC is saying to just use your name. Ok fine. However if your domain name is yourname.com or yournamesblog.com or yourname.com/blog then you will have an unnatural amount of exact or partial match anchor text links in your profile which will possibly get you in trouble with good ole penguin.

This is why I said that when Google set out to become the police, judge, and jury, of what is acceptable or not, they opened a can of worms of unintended consequences that they cannot possible manage.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 1:21 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

People who drop links in blog comments are mostly small fry amateur SEO types. This isn't the cause of all the spam and garbage in Google's search results. Google needs to get to work on the real problems.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 2:08 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not about how good or "small fry" or amateur you think the SEO is -- It's about who gets to decide what someone can or cannot do on *their blog* when "doing [whatever]" has no effect on Google.

It doesn't hurt Google for a comment with or without keywords to be posted on a blog with a nofollow link to your site. It has [should have according to the accepted use and their state use of nofollow anyway] no impact on your site's rankings.

If Google had said: "Blogs *allowing* these type of comments may not rank as well..." and the *blog owner* made a decision to not-allow those comments, that's something entirely different, because the *blog owner* is deciding what's best for *their blog* in that case.

What Google is doing instead is telling *commenters* how they can or cannot comment on a blog *Google does not own*. It's not Google's place to "step in" or circumvent the owner/operator of a blog and dictate the allowable terms relating to others making comments there.

[edited by: JD_Toims at 2:34 am (utc) on Nov 16, 2013]

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 2:34 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What Google is doing instead is telling *commenters*, meaning those who likely don't own the blog, how they can or cannot comment on a blog *Google does not own*.


No, Matt Cutts is merely saying that Google reserves the right to question the motives of site owners or SEOs who spam blogs they don't own. Google isn't the villain here: The spammers are.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 2:37 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Great try at defending them again, but they're wrong.

It's the blog's TOS and the lack of attention to the comments by the blog owner that are the issues -- The only possible harm done to Google's rankings through a nofollow link in a blog comment is for Google to show the blog allowing the comment(s) to be made in their results.

They don't clean up their results at all by "questioning my motives" or "demoting my site in the rankings" since I don't allow comments -- Their results get "cleaner" by not showing the blog allowing the comments to be made to their visitors.

And, as far as "questioning motives" goes, don't get me started...

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 2:52 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ugh! You got me started without even posting again...

If you really want to get into "questioning motives" how about we question the motives of those who allow keyword stuffed commenting and keyword comment links on their blog in the first place?

Is it really the people you're referring to as "spammers" who are the issue when they're within a blog's TOS when they comment, or is it really the TOS of the blog and/or the blog owner/operator neglecting to enforce those terms?

BTW: Tanking my site for nofollowed comments wouldn't keep me from making them, in fact, it would make me more inclined to redouble my efforts to try to generate more traffic any way I could due to the loss of traffic from Google, so it's really a complete "backfire/fail" to not just let blog owners know they actually need to take care of their blog(s) to rank.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 3:44 am on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google isn't the villain here: The spammers are.


How can it even possibly be spamming the index to put a link on a site that nofollows all its links? The board owner is telling Google to not follow them but somehow they're still considered spam. Why would such a link factor into ranking on any level? It's a nofollow link so why is Google keeping track of them at all? I still say it's a form of advertising that doesn't make them any money and that's the driving factor. I don't believe it has anything to do with rankings except that Google can penalize people (via rankings) who are getting too much free advertising using comments or signatures or whatever. It's using misdirection and punishment in the rankings to drive up the value of it's own advertising network.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 3:38 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

How can it even possibly be spamming the index to put a link on a site that nofollows all its links?


It may not be "spamming the index," but it's spamming nonetheless. Adding rel="nofollow" to a spam comment doesn't turn the sow's ear into a silk purse.

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 4:03 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

It may not be "spamming the index," but it's spamming nonetheless.

No its not. It's the comment that is spam and not how someone may refer to him/herself or make some effort to protect their identity. Using your ideology, your post in this thread would be spam because it was not made with your real name. Granted, the difference is that it is not linked. However, if the comment is on-topic I could really care less who a person's name is. I'm not the one trying to profile every individual connected to the internet. :)

Matt Cutts is just rehashing the same old stuff from years ago and putting more noise out there as part of their "campaign of confusion." Meanwhile more of Google's Internet Association lobbying group members get boosted in the serps and benefit from domain crowding at the same time small businesses are pushed into Adwords if they want to be found in Google at all.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 4:42 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

<OT>
Matt Cutts is just rehashing the same old stuff from years ago and putting more noise out there as part of their "campaign of confusion." Meanwhile more of Google's Internet Association lobbying group members get boosted in the serps and benefit from domain crowding at the same time small businesses are pushed into Adwords if they want to be found in Google at all.

I'd agree with most of everything you said there except the domain crowding part. I'm probably one of the most outspoken critics of google's business practices yet I have 2 domains that benefit from domain crowding (my last 2 sites developed, because I figured out over-optimization, and therefore how to avoid it). I have to be fair when it's warranted. If I don't speak I allow myself to contribute to misinformation. We have enough FUD to deal with, I don't want to see more work it's way in. Sorry to put you on the spot turbocharged, I usually agree with 95%+ of your posts but, respectfully I disagree with the domain crowding view.

I do agree however, that domain crowding is not good for a healthy balance of choice, even if I'm benefiting from it.
</OT>

taberstruths



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 5:51 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here is the problem as I see it. I have no problem with encouraging people to use their names or brand names in comments. Keyword rich anchor texts do look spammy and do not get posted on my site. All external links on my site are nofollow because of the Google Gestapo.

What I see as problematic is this. Take Matt Cutts for example. His blog is mattcutts.com His name is obviously Matt Cutts. Say he does no link building whatsoever but does include a link with his name when he comments on blogs. That is an exact match anchor text link. If he gets over 50% of those types of links, what happens? You got it! He gets a taste of Penguin.

I am surprised that our less than stellar white hat friends have not made him eat his own algos.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:24 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)


It may not be "spamming the index," but it's spamming nonetheless. Adding rel="nofollow" to a spam comment doesn't turn the sow's ear into a silk purse.

The question I have is: If comments are not spamming Google's index, they are not manipulating Google's index, and they are on someone else's site, why should it be Google's business to interfere at all by penalising linked to site? If the comment is spam, it should be site owner whose site hosts comments that cleans them up. What is this to do with Google at all as it does not impact their search results.

So the questions we need to ask ourselves is WHY? Why Google decided to bother when nofollowed links are not on the link graph anyway according to Google?

I can personally speculate these possible reasons for this move:
- add more FUD to linking out, to scare spammers
- Google wants people to comment using their names
- nofollow do carry some weight or Google wants that nofollow carry some weight
- Google wants traffic to come from Google, not from blogs
- Control outside search. Today blog comments, tommorrow...?

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:24 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

@SevenCubed

I'm sure there are situations where multiple listings for the same domain are justified. But in the overwhelming majority of the cases I see do not fall into this category. Sitelinks, not the big ones but the unintrusive links under the serp listing, are an example of how it's technically possible for Google to provide searchers with more options for relevant pages on the same domain without reducing choice.

Domain crowding, in my opinion, is one of the symptoms associated with assigning too much weight to domain authority. Big brands, having realized that anything on their domain is now "golden" in Google's eyes, have seized on this opportunity by selling products they do not ordinarily sell or stock. A good example is the medical devices showing up in Google's serps that are sold by Office Depot. While someone is buying paper clips, they can also pickup a stethoscope and maybe a defibrillator. lol Nevermind the smaller companies that specialize in selling and supporting these devices. Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and other big brands are doing the same thing and following Amazon's lead with a good degree of success as others have pointed out in this forum and elsewhere. At this rate there won't be many small businesses left and the warehouse shopping experience will be commonplace.

Therefore, when we look at spammy links we must not ignore spammy search results that clearly show how brand authority is allowing these brands to expand into markets that were once traditionally served by small businesses. By penalizing small businesses into oblivion, for whatever reason, it has left the whitelisted plenty of opportunities for growth online.

As I pointed out previously, the linking policies of Google is a case of smoke and mirrors. Promoting big brands in organics and pushing small businesses into Adwords is one way for Google to drive profits at a time when the global economy is poor, CPC is falling and the rate of online user growth is tapering. While webmasters chase their tails, trying to analyze every little tidbit of rehashed information Matt Cutts presents, Google's growth remains constant as it is the foundation for all that they do.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 6:51 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Big brands, having realized that anything on their domain is now "golden" in Google's eyes, have seized on this opportunity by selling products they do not ordinarily sell or stock. A good example is the medical devices showing up in Google's serps that are sold by Office Depot. While someone is buying paper clips, they can also pickup a stethoscope and maybe a defibrillator. lol Nevermind the smaller companies that specialize in selling and supporting these devices.

Those are very good points. My comments were restricted to a very small sample of my own sites. I rarely go to google these days, even for spot checks, unless I see an unusual drop in traffic via analytics.

Your observations are based on a larger sample and therefore are probably more the norm rather whereas my observations are an exception.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:34 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Big brands, having realized that anything on their domain is now "golden" in Google's eyes, have seized on this opportunity by selling products they do not ordinarily sell or stock. A good example is the medical devices showing up in Google's serps that are sold by Office Depot. While someone is buying paper clips, they can also pickup a stethoscope and maybe a defibrillator.


Sure, and why not? Defibrillators are turning up in airports and other public locations, so why not have them in offices? And if you're an office manager who thinks "Hmmm, we ought to have a defibrillator in case somebody in the office keels over," why wouldn't you want to buy it from a vendor who's already done the research and picked a model that's appropriate for use by non-medical people in a typical office?

Google Search isn't responsible for Office Depot selling defibrillators, any more than The Magazine Index was responsible for the popularity of CPR classes and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation gadgets back in the day.

Sometimes it's a good idea to take off one's SEO blinders and look at the bigger picture.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 7:46 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Spammers gonna spam, the same way the shills are gonna keep on shillin -- Nothing gets fixed till the house changes the policy.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:04 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Comment Spam" is generally defined by two entities.

1. Google (I'll leave the other SE's out of the discussion here as this is a Google forum)
2. Website/blog owners, etc.

I get why a site owner doesn't want whatever they consider to be spam on their site. The question is why Google even cares about "spammy" links when there's a nofollow instruction attached to it? If I run a major ad campaign through any ad network, I can have millions of "links" showing up to my website in short order but apparently this isn't spam because I paid for the privilege of achieving this. If I go this route, I'm a potential customer in Google's eyes. But if I use a similar technique by manually placing my permanent links on websites that allow me to do so and which by definition only work to drive traffic if a viewer manually clicks on the link (which is different that getting a benefit of more traffic through a page rank boost in the SERPS), I will be penalized for using the technique. Business is about attracting customers, will Google start penalizing me if I decide to put up a sign in my front yard and all my friends also put up a sign in their front yards advertising my site? It's an absurd notion but where is the line going to be tomorrow? If we get to a situation where the only way to get someone to your site is to purchase an ad campaign, what does that say about corporate control of the Internet? It says they've won and yes, that was a rhetorical question I just answered.

Added: So does spam mean "spaming the index" or does it mean unauthorized advertising techniques as defined by the corporations in control of the game?

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 8:18 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

P.s. I've never advertised a site using a comment in a blog (ever) so why I'm I defending the practice. Well, I don't condone the practice of attempting to manipulate the SERPs this way but that's different than trying to get the word out about a website by going door to door and leaving flyers in hotel lobbies, or handing out business cards or posting a reference on a site that invited me to spread my message in the first place.

With the ability to nofollow my links the site owner is instructing the SE's that they don't endorse the link and this alone should be enough to keep the link from factoring into the SE's ranking algorithm. Fine. I accept the fact that when I hand someone a business card that it may wind up in the trash but I still do it. From the perspective of the person accepting the card or the site owner accepting my comment, this is a legitimate method of marketing. Google has it's own advertising platform to keep filled with ads so it's a natural reaction to go after the competition. What could be more competitive to a paid advertising network that a free one? The rhetorical questions just keep jumping out at me.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4623299 posted 10:16 pm on Nov 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

With the ability to nofollow my links the site owner is instructing the SE's that they don't endorse the link and this alone should be enough to keep the link from factoring into the SE's ranking algorithm.


Not necessarily. There's more to a search algorithm than link popularity or PageRank.

This 85 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 85 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved